The Tigers worked in Memorial Stadium for two hours, including a situational scrimmage, the first scrimmage of the preseason.
Swinney was glad to be back with his team after an emotional few days.
“I want to
thank all the fans, former players and administrators, and people connected with
other schools for the e-mails, cards and messages. I got a lot of correspondence
from South Carolina fans and administrators and it means a lot.”
The University of
South Carolina Athletic Department sent Swinney an arrangement that featured orange
flowers. It is displayed on the front of his desk in his office at Memorial
“You are never ready for something like that. I was able to spend a lot of quality
time with my dad over the summer because he lived with us for much of the time since
May. He died peacefully (In Alabama) and we had a great celebration of his life
Swinney was back to work on Wednesday morning, something his dad would have wanted.
“I am sure he has been saying that I need to get back to work and get that football
team prepared,” said Swinney on Wednesday after practice.
His team had a situational scrimmage on Wednesday morning that featured plays run on
third-and-long, fourth-and-short, third-and three, just about every situation you
can think of.
“This was our version of our first preseason game. We can’t play
other teams in the preseason like the NFL does. So we try to simulate it as much as
“I saw a lot of good things out there today on both side of the ball. But there were
mistakes also. We had too many fumbles on offense and allowed a big play here and
there on defense. It was a good practice overall.”
Defensively, Dorian O’Daniel and Chad Smith were among the players who stood out
with two tackles for loss and five tackles apiece. O’Daniel also caused a fumble.
Carlos Watkins and Richard Yeargin had a pair of sacks. It should be pointed out
that the defense could not tackle the quarterbacks so it was easier to record sacks
via a simple touch of the jersey.
Offensively, Deshaun Watson threw two touchdown passes, including a 56-yarder to
tight end Jordan Leggett. Seth Ryan, son of Buffalo Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan,
actually turned in the long play of the day when he caught a 58-yard pass from
freshman quarterback Kelly Bryant.
One of the players Swinney commented on after practice was Travis Blanks, a
red-shirt junior who is returning after a pair of ACL injuries. He has been running
with the first team.
“Having Travis Blanks back means we have an experienced,
knowledgeable football player. He is a guy who is always in the correct position
and is a player who has the respect of his teammates. He has outstanding ball
Swinney also says the battle for the placekicking job continues. “It has gone back
and forth, but today Greg Huegal was the first one out there. He is a little ahead
right now, but it is an on-going competition.” Huegel made his only kick during the
scrimmage from 43 yards out.
Swinney reported that three players suffered injuries in the practice. Wide receiver
Mike Williams injured a hamstring, linebacker Korrin Wiggins a knee and offensive
lineman Daniel Stone an ankle. The extent of the injuries was not known immediately
Starting center Ryan Norton (concussion) and tight end Stanton Seckinger (knee)
missed the practice with injuries.
Swinney back in Clemson
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